Bart Wehman – a man with extensive “ready-to-eat seed” farming experience.
Bart Wehman is passionate about introducing products and technologies that can make a difference. He is a real business development manager. In a nutshell, his experience ranges from âseed to ready-to-eatâ. It includes all facets of the horticultural supply chain. For almost a decade, Bart resided and worked in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Bart visiting Merlin Aquaponic Farms Sharjah
âMy work experience in horticulture started in Bulgaria and France. Later, I worked in seed breeding companies for almost six years. In 1990 Peter Kooijman and I founded Pebaco. Pebaco exports greenhouses and storage technologies to the former Eastern European countries. Later I worked for the companies Eillert, FTNON (food industry) and JASA (packaging). For Eillert, I traveled around the world for 7 years selling vegetable processing projects. During these years, I made many business contacts, including Fanar Al Khaleej. This company offered me a position in 2011, âBart said.
Bart is Senior Manager at Fanar Al Khaleej. Fanar has been active in the food industry for over 30 years. The company focuses on industrial refrigeration, food ingredients and food processing machinery. Fanar Al Khaleej’s is mainly active in GCC countries (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman).
Bart is responsible for the meat and fish processing projects. As Senior Manager, he also assists his colleagues in the Fruits / Vegetables / Dairy and Snacks business units. Their clients are companies that produce for the local market and for export.
âI am currently focusing on turnkey projects. These are meat / fish processing, meat successors (vegetable or otherwise) and fast food / catering. Restaurants / fast food chains increasingly produce their food in central kitchens. We respond to that. New developments such as the meat / dairy successors, very popular items in the Netherlands, pose new challenges for this market. I am delighted to contribute to these innovative, sustainable and healthy developments â, explains Bart.
Bart lives in Ajman, one of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates. The Emirates have a desert climate. From October to April, the weather is warm and pleasant, swimming and barbecuing are the main activities during this period. âDuring the summer, from May to September, it is too hot outside to indulge in outdoor activities. Then I go to the cinema or to a shopping mall.
âFrom 2018 VAT was introduced here, but prices are still lower than in the Netherlands despite the five percent rate. Many people from low-wage countries work here, so more services are offered. You will be served at the gas station. In addition, hairdressers and tailors are inexpensive, âexplains Bart. âIf you buy large items such as a TV, bed, wardrobe or refrigerator, they will be delivered, assembled and fully connected. You cannot drink tap water everywhere. So it usually comes in bottles. Domestic gas usually also comes in bottles. The traffic, however, is quite heavy and chaotic. ”
Dubai is a city to visit. The best time is from October to May. âThere are many places of entertainment and activities. These include for example the Miracle Garden, The Frame, Burj Khalifa, Al Ain Zoo, a dessert safari and beautiful mountains, etc. In October 2021, EXPO 2020 will open. – advanced technology and products focused on sustainability. It’s definitely worth a visit, âadds Bart.
During his visits to the Netherlands, Bart appreciates the choice when it comes to food. It’s not just tasty sandwiches, herring, gingerbread, and salty licorice. There are also many ready-to-use products. And he appreciates the quality and diversity of meats and vegetables.
âIn the Netherlands a lot of things are also well regulated, like traffic and healthcare. In the United Arab Emirates you have to call the insurance company to get authorization for every treatment or medicine. challenge, but now I have found my way here. ”
âI have a strong affinity with the fruit and vegetable sector and it will remain so. It is an innovative and dynamic industry. All GCC countries want to become strategically self-sufficient, âsays the senior director. âThis means that considerable challenges remain in the area of ââsustainable local production of fruit and vegetables. For example, indoor agriculture and cultivation in refrigerated greenhouses, but also post-harvest, such as local storage (ULO).
âConsidering the real dietary carbon footprint caused by food production, I am ready to use my years of food processing experience to contribute to sustainable and healthier food production in the Middle East,â Bart concludes.